I am happy to say that we have been keeping up the pace of our baby-wine adventures so I will have lots to post about. But since we are so close to Thanksgiving, I thought it would be more fitting to write about a dish I am going to make for Nico’s first Turkey Day. Instead of just celebrating with one dinner, we are going to two this week! For the occasion, I am trying to cut out a few hours from our busy schedule to actually COOK something. Even though I am not normally a big fan of Thanksgiving food, I have decided to tweak my dad’s traditional stuffing into a vegetarian recipe and I thought I might share it with you!

photo courtesy of epicurious.com


SAVINO’S ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFING

1.5     cups chopped celery
2-5     cups chopped or sliced mushrooms
2        diced medium brown onions
5        cloves of garlic, minced
4+      cups of sour dough bread (couple days old) cubed preferably 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch
1/4     cup chopped Italian parsley
1.5     cups of vegetable stock
1/3     cup of white wine
2        eggs beaten
2 tsp  chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp  chopped fresh sage
1/3    cup of grated parmigiano or Romano cheese
1/3    cup of diced red pepper
olive oil, salt, pepper, butter
*optional: fennel

Process:

Cut off bottom crust of bread loaf and discard (Italians would totally reuse this somewhere!). Cut remaining bread cubes. If too fresh or moist, spread on sheet pan in low temp oven for 5-8 until equal to stale.

Heat 50/50 olive oil in large sauté pan (don’t be shy). Add onion, mushrooms and red peppers. Sauté until onions are translucent and peppers have softened. Don’t salt mushrooms are mostly sautéed, because they will give off a lot of water.

When onions, mushrooms and peppers have softened, add garlic and celery – mix well on medium fire. Do not let garlic brown or it will become bitter. Salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat and splash wine to deglaze and reduce in volume by 50%. Back off heat. Put aside mixture, toss in parsley while it is off fire cooling.

Place bread cubes in a very large bowl, pan or stock pot. Mix in sauté mixture and incorporate well. Add vegetable stock and mix well, add eggs, mix well. Then add cheese. It should be fairly moist. Adjust by adding bread or stock or both. May even take a third beaten egg. An option at this time is to add pitted green olives. If small, like piccoline, leave whole. If large cut in half and mix into stuffing.

Grease a baking dish with butter. Transfer stuffing to baking dish or dishes. Cover with foil and place in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes. Remove foil and place pats of butter randomly on top of stuffing and put back in oven until it browns. If you have a convection oven it will brown more quickly. It should be a little moist, but brown and a little dry on top (hint of crunch).

Let stand for fifteen minutes and serve.

Disclaimer: I don’t use a recipe so I am imagining what amounts seem to make sense. You need to look at the proportions, as you are making it and adjust to your liking. This should make quite a lot of stuffing and always tastes better when you reheat. You could make one day ahead. If you do, at the point where you take the foil off, only go another five to ten minutes. Cool, cover and place in refrigerator. Next day, pick up the process at the foil off stage.

(Let’s see how mine turns out and will post a follow up picture!) THANKS DAD!

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